April 2022 News Summary
The Ombudsman has prepared and published the 2021 Annual Report on the progress made in such areas as civil and political rights, social, economic and cultural rights and children’s rights. Key developments in raising public awareness and international cooperation are also listed. On April 21, the Ombudsman presented the report to the Members of the Parliament.
Ombudsman Juris Jansons: “I appreciate that, at the beginning of last year, I was entrusted with leading the team of the Ombudsman’s Office for a third consecutive term. In the last ten years, much has been done to significantly improve the importance and role of human rights in Latvia, but just as much remains to be done.”
The Ombudsman has concluded the research study “The situation of Roma in Latvia”. The study investigates the experience of seven local governments in such areas as cooperation with the Roma community, children’s education, housing support and social assistance. The Ombudsman highlighted examples of good practice and made recommendations to improve the situation of Roma.
The Ombudsman has asked the Ministry of Education and Science to evaluate and provide information on the work of the pedagogical medical commissions of local governments, and the alleged practice of unjustifiably placing Roma children in special educational institutions or providing education in inappropriate special educational programmes. The Ombudsman has also asked for information on whether Roma children who are taught in accordance with special educational programmes are provided with teacher assistants from the Roma community.
The oral section of the annual moot court competition in human rights (including the final) took place at the Ombudsman’s Office on 30 April. This year’s theme was asylum-seeking procedures on the Latvian-Belarusian border.
The competition was won by the team “Sapere aude” (participants Viktorija Gilberte, Alise Gailīte and Teresa Vāgentroca) from the University of Latvia. The team won the main prize – an opportunity to participate in the European Law Students’ Association’s Summer School at Zadar University, Croatia, where they will study various topics related to human rights and globalisation.
The Ombudsman’s Office sincerely congratulates all participants and extends a huge thank you to all teams, coaches, supporters and helpers, as well as to our supporters — the Constitutional Court, Latvijas Vēstnesis (the official publisher of the Republic of Latvia) and the Courthouse Agency.